Writ­ing is on the wall for van­dals

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Hobson's Choice - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK

CRUNCH talks have been held to plan how to stop the re­turn of graf­fiti which has blighted city cen­tre build­ings.

Busi­nesses, po­lice and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil have met at a busi­ness fo­rum to talk about the op­tions avail­able for com­bat­ing graf­fiti van­dals who have daubed slo­gans on build­ings in Cathe­dral Square.

The move comes af­ter graf­fiti reap­peared on top of a row of 40ft high build­ings in the square, which had just had graf­fiti re­moved.

They in­cluded HMV, Nor­wich and Peter­bor­ough and HSBC bank.

Now the firms and po­lice have joined forces to come up with so­lu­tions, such as buy­ing anti-graf­fiti prod­ucts to stop spray paint stick­ing and a city cen­tre graf­fiti board.

The lat­est graf­fiti will be re­moved and a num­ber of mea­sures aimed at keep­ing the build­ing clean will be costed out.

A spokes­woman for N&P said they wel­comed the joint ap­proach and said they were de­lighted ev­ery­one was keen to work to­gether to tackle the prob­lem – es­pe­cially fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of works to Cathe­dral Square.

She said: “We are look­ing at the po­ten­tial next steps and op­tions as well as things like roof ac­cess points.

“Ev­ery­one was very pos­i­tive at the meet­ing, which is good .”

City cen­tre po­lice sergeant Nikki Hall said the po­lice were pleased to be work­ing to­gether with all the agen­cies in the city cen­tre and de­scribed the meet­ing as pos­i­tive.

Sgt Hall said: “Our role in this is two-fold – pre­ven­ta­tive, stop­ping the graf­fiti hap­pen­ing, which was the point of this meet­ing, and our main fo­cus de­tec­tion, which is try­ing to iden­tify the cul­prits.

“We have been re­ally pleased to see so many fam­i­lies in Cathe­dral Square and hope that peo­ple will keep an eye out and tell us if they see any­thing sus­pi­cious go­ing on.”

But Safe Ra­dio Link chair­man, Gra­ham Burr, who also sits on the city cen­tre po­lice panel and Busi­ness Against Crime group, said the time could be right for a city cen­tre graf­fiti board.

He said: “I think the busi­nesses and po­lice do need to work to­gether and I am pleased they are look­ing at dif­fer­ent op­tions.

“We are host­ing a “Sorted” road­show in the city cen­tre in July and will have graf­fiti artists teach­ing young­sters how to cre­ate in a pos­i­tive way.

“I think we need a graf­fiti board for young­sters, maybe some­where near the Em­bank­ment, where they can ex­press them­selves in a good man­ner.”

Mr Burr also agreed that peo­ple needed to keep the po­lice in­formed if they see graf­fiti ac­tiv­ity.

He said: “I am a big fan of e-cops which is great as you can e-mail from your own home and re­main anony­mous if you are maybe wor­ried about call­ing the po­lice.

“Peo­ple of­ten blame a lack of CCTV, but cam­eras can’t be pointed ev­ery­where and ev­ery­one has to be pre­pared to tell po­lice if they see any­thing.”

A spokes­woman for Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil con­firmed they were help­ing the busi­nesses co-or­di­nate their re­sponse.

If you spot graf­fiti ei­ther call po­lice on 0345 456 4564 or con­tact Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil on 01733 747474.

PROB­LEM: Graf­fiti on build­ing tops in Cathe­dral Square.

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